To the editor:
This past week a friend said his personal MLK Day tradition was to read Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” He said he read it slowly and without distraction, and he invited others to do the same.
I did read it and found much “to enlighten us in our own dark times” as another writer has said. King’s words are needed today as dark times are being ushered in by the new secretary of state, Kris Kobach, as he introduces his voter ID legislation. Much has been written showing that voter fraud has not been a problem, and Kobach’s proposed remedy would harm many elderly, poor and minority Kansans.
Why is one person so obsessed with this non-issue? Before a scheme to suppress minority voters was caught in 2007, Kobach said “the Kansas GOP has identified and caged more voters in the past 11 months than the previous two years.” Caging is an illegal trick to suppress minority voters by getting them knocked off voter rolls.
Kobach’s history and associations are truly frightening. Now he is using the guise of protecting voters’ rights to suppress voter participation, while simultaneously increasing his powers to prosecute violations.
In the words of King, “There are two types of laws: just and unjust.” King also speaks of the “silence of the good people.”
Kansas is already infamous for one road show of bigotry. Now our secretary of state says, “Kansas will be to voter fraud what Arizona is to illegal immigration.”
Fear and witch hunts do not make a state we can be proud of.
We must stand with civil and religious organizations opposing this bill.